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ERIC Number: EJ1016720
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1083-5415
A Toolkit of Strategies: Building Literacy in the World Languages Classroom
Zeppieri, Rosanne; Russel, Priscilla
Learning Languages, v18 n1 p36-39 Win 2013
In elementary schools around the United States, children learn in text-rich environments with literacy a primary goal of instruction, whether the instruction is in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, or Spanish. Nonetheless, second language instruction is often overlooked as a vehicle for building students' reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing skills. A distinct difference in the world languages classroom is the focus on interpretive listening and interpersonal speaking before students begin to read and write formally in the language. Being able to discern the main ideas of messages, responding to questions and directions using movement and signals, drawing what is heard, matching and categorizing ideas orally before producing them in writing, referencing ideas in the text to support answers are all examples of skill building tasks that lead to literacy in a second language and strengthen literacy in the learners' first language. The world language teacher, and all who teach English language arts, employ pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading strategies that make texts accessible to learners so that they might accomplish the targeted learning outcomes. Children's language ability is a strong indicator of learning in all areas as well as a predictor of success in school and in life. The elementary world language teacher who has these tools in their "cartable"/book bag to focus on receptive language and productive language: identifying cognates, understanding the gist of messages, communicating appropriately in different contexts, understanding syntax and developing strong vocabulary knowledge also is developing literacy skills. Intentionally highlighting these ties to literacy, not only strengthens students' L2 literacy skills, but also draws attention to the role that world language instruction plays in the overall development of L1 literacy.
National Network for Early Language Learning. Winston-Salem, NC. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A